The Benefits of Retail Therapy: Choosing to Buy Alleviates Sadness

Scott Rick, University of Michigan, USA
Beatriz Pereira, University of Michigan, USA
Katherine Burson, University of Michigan, USA
People often shop when feeling sad, but whether and why shopping alleviates sadness remains an open question. Two experiments that randomly assigned participants to shopping or browsing conditions revealed that making buying decisions alleviated sadness, whereas shopping without buying and browsing did not. Buying helped even when it was hypothetical.
[ to cite ]:
Scott Rick, Beatriz Pereira, and Katherine Burson (2012) ,"The Benefits of Retail Therapy: Choosing to Buy Alleviates Sadness", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 40, eds. Zeynep G├╝rhan-Canli, Cele Otnes, and Rui (Juliet) Zhu, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 241-245.